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Monday, February 10, 2020

February 10, 2020-Ups and Downs of Racing Season

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Wings in Racing Trim

There are a lot of activities here in La Cruz in January and February but for us racing is at the top of the list. So when I stood at the trophy case of Vallarta yacht Club reading the names of the past winners of the Vallarta Cup and seeing Wings’ fourth place this year it was a bit of a shock, especially considering our first overall three times in the previous four years. We’ve been sailing hard this year and having fun doing it, and in the opening regatta of the year, as we wrote previously, we were first, dominatingly so, but this time the results weren’t there.

How do we explain that fourth place?

The truth is that we are sailing against a small group of really good sailors who all want to win as bad as we do. This year everyone has been sailing well and they deserve to win.

And this year we had some problems.

For one thing we’ve had some personnel issues. Four people are out for the year due to injuries, three shoulder injuries, a back injury, and another with arm injuries. None of these have occurred on the boat (it seems that walking around in Mexico is more dangerous than sailing on Wings) but we’ve had to find replacements nevertheless. Also we’ve had people take off to go cruising on their own boats, so we needed more replacements. And some of the replacements have not worked out. The net is that there has a lot of been crew turnover.

As for ourselves, Judy and I have remained committed to our workout regimen and think we are pretty fit, but even we have found that our old bodies are showing signs of stress. This week Judy has started treatment for a shoulder injury herself.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Judy in the Dr's Office

Our constantly rotating crew is doing their best and they are pretty good; a few are real stars but some boat handling problems have occurred which cost us time and these can be traced partially to inexperienced crew.

A complicating factor is that our tactics and helming have suffered while we try to deal with on-the-job training of the crew. It is hard to stay focused on tactics while you are trying to watch what 10 other people are doing.

Putting it all together, facing tough competition, rebuilding our crew, and less than stellar tactics…it’s not surprising that we are behind the curve this year.

Still, in competition there will always be winners and losers. The good thing is that we love to get out on the water and always try to do our best.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Judy and Kelly on the roof-top bar

Despite our racing performance sailing has been good with good winds and good friends aboard and otherwise life in La Cruz has been pretty nice too as it always is this time of year. The weather is glorious, the music scene in La Cruz is booming with great new bands and live music playing somewhere every night, usually at more than one place. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to cut back and not go out every night. Local activities have also been fun. If our sailboat racing has been less than stellar, the La Cruz Kids Club has been able to put on a terrific regatta with toy boats built out of scraps and trash.
wingssail images-fredrick roswold

Boat work, car work: We’ve been making progress against our project lists and keeping up with occasional mechanical problems. Keeping our old Chrysler in good shape has required some investment. A total front end rebuild has helped with the speed bump issues, and we have some other fixes completed and more upcoming. The boat, of course always provides repair opportunities. At the moment we have two water tanks out and new ones being built. The good news on both the car and the boat is that the repairs cost less here in Mexico then they have elsewhere. We’re happy that we feel that we can keep our vehicles in good nick.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Water Tanks

So that’s the update from La Cruz.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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